So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Big Park AZ in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Big Park AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Big Park AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Big Park AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Big Park AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Big Park AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Big Park AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Big Park AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Big Park AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Big Park AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Big Park AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Big Park AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Big Park X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the best x-ray technician college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Big Park Arizona.